An experimental study was conducted to test the mediating effect of presence on the consumer response to tourism promotion using virtual reality (VR) technology. Hong Kong college students (N = 203) were assigned to three experimental groups in which they were exposed to a hotel advertorial on an online blog, a VR 360° video on a mobile phone, or a VR 360° video using Google Cardboard goggles. The results supported the hypothesis that presence plays a mediating role in the relationship between the use of VR in tourism advertising and consumer response. As one of the first studies in the tourism field to investigate the effects of a virtual depiction of a real-world environment on consumption intentions, the findings reveal how VR technology can be used to promote a hotel by generating a sense of presence. This study makes a further contribution to the VR literature by finding that the use of Cardboard goggles did not produce a significantly greater sense of presence in the experience of advertorial viewers. The theoretical contributions and practical implications of the findings for the use of VR technology in branding and promotion are discussed.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Computer Science(all)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Virtual reality